Fresh & Delicious Honey Puffs!
Greek honey puffs or loukoumades (loo-koo-maa-des) first came into my life when I met Christina Peeters (Petrou) in the laundry room of my Chicago Lake Shore Drive condo many years ago!
Newly wed and having just moved to the Windy City with my Greek husband, I was painstakingly trying to figure out how to use a washing machine when a smiling elderly lady approached and asked me my name. Once I answered, she responded happily in heavy English accent: “You must be Greek like me.”
Before I knew it, my laundry crisis was over and Christina had invited me to join her for a breakfast of loukoumades, which she told me were Greek fritters soaked in honey and dusted with aromatic ground cinnamon – known in ancient times as “honey tokens” and said to have been awarded to the victorious athletes at Olympia during the ancient Olympic Games.
Upon entering her kitchen, Christina took a bowl of bubbly batter out of the fridge which she had prepared earlier that morning. I of course wanted to learn how to make the batter and when I asked Christina for a recipe she answered “you don’t really need a recipe . . . only flour, yeast and water for the batter and vegetable oil for the frying”.
This sounded easy enough … until I saw her dip her right hand, first into cold water, then into the batter and with a light squeeze of her hand she proceeded to make evenly-sized dollops of batter that she slid into the hot oil with remarkable speed . . . something loukoumades shops nowadays do with special machines, as seen in the photo below from my recent visit to the modern Lukumades café/sweet-shop located near one of Athens’ trendiest square and night spots.
This shop serves fresh & delicious honey puffs (fritters) that are prepared and cooked to perfection right in front of your eyes . . . . in the open kitchen all day long!
On this visit, both I and my husband ordered the all-time classic puffs dusted with cinnamon and drizzled with honey that were light, airy crispy . . . and really yummy! If you, however, fancy a hipster version, then check out the many varieties available . . . including loukoumades that are filled with chocolate, lemon or banana creams and topped with chocolate sauce and/or a scoop of ice-cream that I’m sure will tantalize your taste buds!
In the summer enjoy the outdoor seating but if you prefer, there is limited seating inside. The place is pretty much self-service as when you place your order at the cash register you are given a pager that will alert you when your order is ready for pick up!
If you can’t decide what to order ask one of the friendly and well informed employees. Last but not least . . . . indulge and enjoy!
LUKUMADES - café/sweet-shop
21 Aiolou St, Agias Irinis Square, 10551 Athens
Daily from 08:00am until 01.00am!
Telephone: +30 210 321 0880